On Mar 2, 2008, at 1:49 PM, Paul Bennett wrote:

> On Sun, 02 Mar 2008 05:51:05 -0500, Mr Veoler <[log in to unmask]>  
> wrote:
>> One thing I have had in mind to ask: What about definiteness?
>> The definite article, and a generic demonstrative - what's the  
>> difference?
> Semantically, very little, if any.
> I suspect you could replace every demonstrative "that" and every  
> "the" in English both with "bleen" and be just as expressive and  
> concise (once the listener knew what "bleen" meant).
>> Generally, my conlang have the unmarked noun to be "indefinite" in  
>> the broader
>> sense, and might be used for what in English is definite, if the  
>> context is
>> enough. And then I have two marked articles: one for definiteness,  
>> used when
>> you want to make it explicitly definite, as a generic  
>> demonstrative, and the
>> second article for genericness (as in Latejami).
> In Terzemian, as IIRC in Spanish, I distinguish three articles:
> Type 0: Not definite to the speaker
> Type 1: Definite to the speaker, but the speaker does not know (or  
> care?) whether it's definite to the listener
> Type 2: Definite to the speaker, and the speaker expects / wants it  
> to be definite to the listener

I was just about to bring up the same distinction. How is it done in  

> English can express these, but not with absolute concision:
> Type 0: I'm looking for a house
> Type 1: I'm looking for a specific house
> Type 2: I'm looking for the house

In my Dhaqran, at least as I envision it right now, the distinction  
is marked by the mood of the word "house" -- it doesn't distinguish  
verbs, nouns, and adjectives, and most words that would  
conventionally be put into those classes show typically verbal  
distinctions such as aspect, mood, and voice.

Type 0 would use the irrealis mood: "there could/would/might/may be a  
house; I'm looking for it".
Type 1 would use the realis mood: "there is a house; I'm looking for  
Type 3 would use the realis mood and probably some sort of  
demonstrative or article "there is a house; it is that one; I'm  
looking for it". (The word for "house" might also have a definite  
subject instead of being impersonal, in which case it would gloss as  
something like "it is a house; [it is that one (optional);] I'm  
looking for it" (depending on the preceding context).)